Preview: IceCaps, Bruins clash in divisional battle Posted by IceCaps on
ICECAPS (28-18-1-2, 59 PTS | 2nd Place, Atlantic) at BRUINS (26-18-1-6, 59 PTS | 3rd Place, Atlantic)
Puck Drop: 8:35 PM NT | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM
The St. John’s IceCaps, playing some of their best hockey of the season of late, will attempt to break a deadlock in the Atlantic Division standings on Friday as they head to the Dunkin Donuts Center to face the Providence Bruins.
Despite suffering a 4-2 loss to the Worcester Sharks in their final game before the AHL All-Star break, the IceCaps have won eight of their last ten contests and haven’t lost back-to-back games since their 5-2 loss to the Sharks on Dec. 27, 2013.
LAST GAME: Despite a late third period push, the IceCaps were unable to complete the comeback as the Sharks rolled to a 4-2 victory at Mile One Centre on Sunday, Feb. 9.
Travis Oleksuk, Rob Davison and Eriah Hayes paced the sharks to a 3-0 lead early in the third period before the IceCaps showed their first signs of life.
Blair Riley cut the deficit to 3-1 with his third goal of the season at 8:50 and Kael Mouillierat’s 13th goal of the season exactly six minutes later had the IceCaps home crowd back in the game.
Dan DaSilva ended any chance of a comeback with an empty net goal with 28 seconds remaining.
Troy Grosenick earned the win between the pipes for the Sharks. He finished the game with 29 saves. Michael Hutchinson got the start between the pipes for St. John’s and made 24 saves.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for St. John’s: Kris Fredheim, Kyle MacKinnon, Cody Lampl, Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden, Eddie Pasquale… St. John’s went 0-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill… The IceCaps outshot the Sharks 31-28… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Rob Davison 2. Kael Mouillierat 3. Rylan Schwartz… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player of the Game: John Albert.
TRANSACTIONS: Feb. 8: Cody Lampl (D) Released from PTO, signed to SPC. Eric O’Dell (C) Returned on loan from Winnipeg (NHL). Zach Redmond (D) Returned on loan from Winnipeg (NHL). Feb. 6: Paul Postma (D) Recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL).
QUICK HITS: The St. John’s IceCaps are certainly hoping to capitalize on the momentum that hometown All-Stars Jason Jaffray and Brenden Kichton showed during the AHL All-Star Classic this past week. Jaffray stole the show during the Skills Competition, scoring both the tying and winning goals in a 18-17 win over Farjestad BK. Jaffray added an assist during the All Star Game, while Kichton was +2 and recorded three shots on goal.
The Olympic break has been kind to the IceCaps as the Winnipeg Jets have returned Eric O’Dell and Zach Redmond to St. John’s. O’Dell hadn’t played with the IceCaps since Dec. 15 and was among the league leaders in points at the time of his callup. With his assist in the IceCaps’ 4-2 loss to the Sharks on Feb. 9, he pushed his AHL point streak to four games and collected one goal and five assists during the streak.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: Providence snapped the IceCaps’ franchise record-tying six game winning streak on Feb. 4, but the IceCaps still hold an edge over the Bruins this season.
In the seven games played between these two teams, the IceCaps boast a 4-2-1-0 record.
The IceCaps dropped an overtime decision on opening night, Oct. 4, at Mile One but bounced back the following night to win 5-1.
Providence won in regulation 5-2 on Oct. 27 before the IceCaps took two from the Bruins in their own building on Jan. 24 and 26.
Providence snapped the streak with a 3-2 win in St. John’s on Feb. 4 but St. John’s claimed redemption with a 4-3 shootout victory the following day.
St. John’s owns a 9-3-2-1 record lifetime against the Bruins.
STJ Brenden Kichton 7 PTS (2G, 5A) | Jerome Samson 6 PTS (3G, 3A) |Eddie Pasquale (2-2-0, 2.95 GAA, 0.912 SV%)
PRO: Nick Johnson 8 PTS (4G, 4A) | Matt Fraser 5 PTS (3G, 2A) | Niklas Svedberg (2-2-0, 3.27 GAA, 0.899 SV%)
BRUINS RECENT ACTION: FEB. 9: PRO 3 SPR 1
The Providence Bruins got great goaltending from Niklas Svedberg and Mike Moore, Tyler Randell and Alexander Khokhlachev each found the back of the net as they rolled to a 3-1 victory over the Springfield Falcons at Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Feb. 9.
Moore opened the scoring at 9:56 of the opening frame before the Falcons drew even with Alex Aleardi’s seventh goal of the season near the midway point of the second period.
Providence jumped ahead for good on Randell’s tally with 3:13 remaining in the second period.
Khokhlachev added an insurance marker at 14:51 of the third period.
Svedberg earned the victory and second star honours with his 26-save performance while Jeremy Smith finished the game with 17 saves for Springfield.
TRANSACTIONS: Feb. 8: Blake Parlett (D) Loaned from Boston (NHL). David Warsofsky (D) Returned on loan from Boston (NHL). Joe Lavin (D) Traded from Springfield, loaned to South Carolina (ECHL).